The Violent Attack on Kelly Caldwell Frightens Community
Yermo, CA - Kelly Caldwell was killed by a pack of pit bulls Christmas evening as she walked along Second Street toward Yermo Road. Her death has traumatized the community, and caused it to take a hard look at animal control in their area.
The two animal control agencies that serve the Barstow area are pursuing different strategies to clamp down on loose and aggressive dogs. The Barstow Humane Society, which provides animal control service to the city, wants more money to put more officers on the street. San Bernardino County’s Animal Care and Control department is looking to reorganize the way it provides its services.
Both the humane society and the county agree that education is key to stopping aggressive and stray dogs. The humane society is looking to begin a broad education campaign that will target children by reaching out to schools and the Desert Discovery Center -- though they do not have funds for this an endeavor, just as they do not have funds to place more animal control officers on the street.
In the meanwhile, the community takes a huge hit in public safety. Sure, owners ought to take more responsibility for their pets. The problem is that educational measures don't stop owners from being irresponsible, particularly pit bull owners. This is why communities need progressive dog policy, one that mandates both criminal and civil recourse for a victim who has been attacked by loose, leashed or fenced dangerous dogs.